FH. Girdling the Earth

A quite elementary question:

Imagine a tight band wrapped around the Earth (a perfectly spherical Earth!). If one foot is added to the band, it will be possible to lift it uniformly up, away from the surface of the Earth. Will the resulting gap be enough to pass a baseball card under? A baseball? A baseball player? 

Another variation, which is really quite amazing, is what if a foot is added and the band is lifted up in just one spot? How high will the band lift up? Higher than a seball? A baseball player? A baseball stadium?

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